Boryptera alba Brial, 2001

Bory's white bat



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

A hypothetical species

Last record: 1804 or before


A hypothetical species based upon a description by Bory de St Vincent (1804). He spoke of an all-white bat which slept during the day in an endemic palm species (Latania lontaroides), though he tells us that he failed to catch any. As this description cannot be referred to any known species which inhabits Réunion, it must either represent a now extinct form, or a taxa still present on the island but which has evaded capture for more than 200 years. Until proof of the continued existence of this taxa is obtained it must be considered extinct, given the circumstances.

Though this species has been scientifically described (Brial, 2001), due to the lack of any examinable specimens (hypodigm) it's placement at higher taxonomic ranks remains indeterminable, at least until subfossil material is found.



Réunion, Mascarene Islands






No specimens exist, or did exist, in museum collections as this species is inferred from an eye witness account.






Original scientific description:

Brial, P. (2001). Une espèce inconnue de microchiroptère observée par Bory de Saint-Vincent à l'île de la Réunion en 1801. Bull. Soc. Geog. Réunion 1: 5.


Other references:

Bory de Saint-Vincent, Jean-Baptiste G.M. (1804). Voyage dans les quatre principales îles des mers d’Afrique, fait par ordre du gouvernement pendant les années neuf et dix de la République (1801 et 1802). Paris: F.Buisson. 2 vols. + 'atlas' [plates]. [Reprinted 1980 - Marseille: Lafitte Reprints.

Cheke AS and Hume JP (2008) Lost Land of the Dodo: an Ecological History of Mauritius, Réunion & Rodrigues. A & C Black, London.

Maas, P.H.J. (2011). Bory's White Bat - Boryptera alba. In: TSEW (2011). The Sixth Extinction Website. (http:// Downloaded on 16 January 2011.

Turvey, Samuel T. (2009). Holocene mammal extinctions, pp. 41-61. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Turvey, Samuel T. and Fritz, Susanne A. (2011). The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 366(1577): 2564-2576. [Supplementary Information]


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